Inquiry Labs

I’m a big believer in having students figure stuff out for themselves.  They learn more, they have more fun, and they get to practice their problem-solving abilities.  It’s a win-win-win! What the labs on this page all have in common is that they involve some element of inquiry (i.e. students use their own ingenuity to solve a problem).  Some are more complex than others, so make adjustments as needed.

A disclaimer:  If you do these labs with your students, you take on all responsibility for anything that happens.  I’ve never had problems, but this possibility always exists in the lab.  Follow good safety practices, demand your students do so, and never take on more than you feel comfortable with.

(Updated 10-29-15)

Partial inquiry labs:

  • Types of Solid Lab:  Is it a metal?  Is it ionic?  Figure it out!
  • Suspension, Colloid, Solution Lab:  So, which is it?  And how do you figure it out?
  • Solubility Lab:  If you’re learning solubility, here’s the lab for you!
  • Reaction Order Lab:  If you don’t believe that you can teach reaction orders in a high school chemistry class, think again.
  • Product Formation Lab:  I love this lab, because it makes the students think about how things should work, as well as how things can go wrong.
  • Moles Of Air:  If you do this lab in the principal’s office, you’ll either get a very good or a very bad performance evaluation.
  • Milk Lab:  This is the first lab I ever did, so I have a soft spot in my heart for it.  I don’t like milk, though.
  • Hydrate Lab:  Hydrates are cooler than they’re usually portrayed.  Show your students how.
  • Graphing Lab:  Fun with graphing?  Who would’ve guessed?
  • Density Lab:  Whenever I think of this lab, I always think of the old David Letterman bit “Will it float?
  • Dalton’s Law Minilab:  It’s a minilab, which means it can fit into a thimble.  Or something.
  • Colligative Property Lab:  How does concentration affect a solution?  Find out!
  • Candlemaking Lab:  Great lab, but I highly recommend putting butcher paper down on your countertop before starting.

Full inquiry labs:

  • 34 True Inquiry Labs:  The great thing about a full inquiry lab is that it can usually be stated in a single sentence.  That’s how you get 34 labs in such a small space!
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